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|October 11, 1999||
BJP got 2.67 pc votes more than Congress in MP, but 18 seats more
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing fluctuations in the vote share of the two major parties - the BJP and Congress -- at every recent Lok Sabha elections, but more interesting is the major impact that minor swings could make on the number of seats bagged by a party.
Polling just 2.67 per cent votes more than the Congress, the BJP this time cornered 18 seats more than the congress. The BJP took 29 of the 40 seats in the state, leaving the remaining 11 seats for the Congress. In the last few elections, a vote swing of mere 2-6 per cent has been a decisive factor in winning.
However, the difference that the percentage of votes that a party has polled in its favour has not generally been proportional to the increase in the seats it gains. For example, in the general elections last year, the BJP had polled 6.33 per cent more than its rival Congress -- almost four per cent more than what the former could get this time round. However, the number of seats it could gain that time in addition to this year's was just one. The Congress thus notched up 10 seats, which was one-third of what the BJP got.
In the 1996 election, the BJP polled 10.3 per cent votes more than the Congress, but could get only 27 of the 40 seats. The huge swing against the Congress notwithstanding, the party won eight seats. In 1991, it was the Congress which had more number of seats from the state. The party finished first in 27 Lok Sabha constituencies though it got only 3.54 per cent of votes more than the BJP which cornered 12 seats and the BSP one.
Twentyseven was the total number of seats for the biggest party in Madhya Pradesh in the 1989 elections as well, that time it was the BJP, a gain of just 1.94 per cent votes more than the Congress doing the trick. The vacillating swing-seat relation has not been confined to the Lok Sabha elections.
The last three assembly elections have also been witnessing similar swings between the two parties. The Congress was re-seated in the state in the last assembly elections with a comfortable majority. However, going by the vote share, it was a mere 1.31 percent votes more than the BJP that the Congress got. The Congress had polled 40.59 per cent and the BJP 39.28 per cent in that election.
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